For my birthday one year I ordered myself an earl grey cake with lavender swiss meringue buttercream from my good friend Maria at Grace and Honey Cakes. It might be the best dessert I’ve ever eaten, and I knew I had to make some earl grey cookies.
These are fragrant, flavorful, buttery cookies, that would be perfect for a tea party themed event.
I used high quality earl grey tea from bags, but you can also use loose leaf tea. If you do use loose leaf tea, make sure to finely grind it with a mortar and pestle first.
If you would like more info on my preferred ingredient brands, tips and tricks, FAQs, and a little cookie science, I cover all of that in my No-Spread Lemon Shortbread Sugar Cookie Recipe.
Are these technically shortbread or sugar cookies?
They’re kind of both. It’s fine to call these either “decorated sugar cookies” or “decorated shortbread cookies.” But I’m going to refer to any of my cookie recipes that can used as a base for cookie decorating as “shortbread sugar cookies.”
- 2 parts flour to 1 part fat
- No eggs
- No leavening agent
- Dense and crispy
- 3 parts flour to 2 parts fat
- Contains eggs
- Contains a leavening agent
- Light and Chewy
All of my shortbread sugar cookie recipes don’t rise or spread, can be used for cookie decorating, have egg, but no leavening agent, and have a 2 ¼ parts flour to 1 part fat. Which makes them fall somewhere between a shortbread and a sugar cookie. They’re both shortbread and sugar cookies, and neither shortbread or sugar cookies, at the same time. They’re Shrodinger’s cookies!
All of my shortbread sugar cookie recipes can be used for slice-and-bake cookies as well!
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Earl Grey Shortbread Sugar Cookies
- measuring spoons and cups
- mixing bowls
- cling wrap
- cookie cutters
- large knife
- 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- 1 large egg room temperature
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
- 2 tablespoons earl grey tea
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- If tea isn't finely ground, grind using a mortar and pestle or spice grinder.
- Whisk flour and cornstarch together and set aside.
- Cream butter and sugars with paddle attachment, on medium-low speed, until fluffy and pale in color (about 5 minutes).
- Add egg, vanilla extract, and ground tea, and mix on low speed until thoroughly combined. Scrape down the paddle with a spatula, and then continue to mix on low speed for another 30 seconds to ensure everything is fully incorporated.
- Add dry ingredients, all at once, and mix on low speed just until dough starts to come together and no dry bits remain. Do not overmix.
- Turn dough out onto cling wrap, tightly wrap, and refrigerate overnight (or for at least 4 hours).
- Knead, roll, cut out cookies, and return to fridge or freezer until firm. Leave a couple inches between cookies.
- Bake at 350°F for 15 minutes, rotate pan, and bake for another 1-5 minutes until edges are starting to turn golden brown.
- Remove cookies from oven and allow to cool on cookie sheet before handling.
- The reason for adding 1-2 tablespoons of cornstarch to your dough is to prevent your cookies from shrinking or spreading during baking.
- If making slice-and-bake cookies, split dough in half, roll into logs, wrap tightly in cling wrap or parchment paper, and refrigerate before slicing and baking.
I’m a little confused with the recipe. In the instructions, it says to add the chai spice along with the egg and vanilla extract, but there is absolutely no mention of chai spice in the ingredients list. How much are we supposed to add into the recipe…or none at all?
Tyler April Townley
Good catch! I was working on too many recipes at once and I mixed up my chai tea and earl grey instructions. I’ve updated the recipe card. Sorry for the confusion.